Season one of Stan Lee’s Lucky Man was a huge success for Sky One last year – it swiftly became the channel’s most successful original drama ever. Starring James Nesbitt, the show spotlighted a gambling-addicted cop, Harry Clayton, who gains the superpower of extreme good luck when he’s given an ancient bracelet that he can’t take off. The problem with good luck for person is that is means bad luck for someone else, and Harry soon found his new powers a curse as much as a boon.
Season two premieres on Friday, and it sound like it could be subtly different in tone – more comic booky, more ready to have fun with its central concepts. So let’s have a look at what the show has in store this time around.
1 Season two see the introduction of the mysterious Isabella Augustin, played by Dutch actress Thekla Reuten (In Bruges, The American), who also has a lucky bracelet. This throws everything Harry thought he knew about his bracelet into turmoil. “It transpires that she has been looking for Harry as she too has a similar lucky bracelet,” says executive producer Richard Fell. “The introduction of this second bracelet poses all manner of interesting problems for Harry, which are complicated by the fact that there is a strong attraction between Harry and Isabella. Harry discovers that Isabella has a more open and interesting relationship with her bracelet, which challenges him to evaluate his use and trust in the lucky charm throughout the 10 episodes.”
2 “Isabella has quite a different approach to the bracelet than Harry,” continues Richard Fell. “She has had it for 10 years and grown used to it. She has learnt how to use it in a way that Harry could never imagine. The bracelet has given her a unique outlook on the world, she is a free spirit and enjoys life to the full. The bracelet has given her enormous wealth, with the freedom that implies, to do the things she wants to do with little consequence. But Harry is still cautious, Isabella tells him that the idea the bracelet has a yin and yang is complete rubbish and it is just Eve’s way of controlling him. Harry has to learn for himself in series two what the true nature of the bracelet is.”
3 Thekla Reuten describes Isabella as, “a bag of contradictions, but the more Harry gets to know her, the more complicated and challenging their relationship becomes… She lives above the law, because of her use of the bracelet, so there are some extreme moments of madness.”
4 Guest stars this season include Conleth Hill (Lord Varys in Game of Thrones) as Reverend Huxley, Jonathan Aris (The Night Manager, Sherlock, The Martian) as Ralph Dickenson and Matthew McNulty (The Musketeers, Misfits) as Rob Spencer.
5 There is a completely new writing team and series one head writer is nowhere to be seen. BUZZ suggested in this feature from last year that the show could benefit from more writers with a telefantasy background, and, interestingly, that’s exactly what we’ve got…
- Tom Grieves (The Ghost Squad, Being Human) – episodes 1, 3, 7, 10
- Matt Jones (Doctor Who, Torchwood) – episodes 2, 8
- Lucy Catherine (Being Human, The Musketeers) – episode 4
- DC Jackson (Fresh Meat) – episode 5
- Tom De Ville (Urban Gothic, Lexx, Hannibal) – episode 6
- Mika Watkins (Dixi) – episode 9
6 The introduction of Isabella doesn’t mean we’ve seen the last of Eve: “Isabella and Eve go way back. They are almost like sisters that I think comes from a place of love,” says Thekla Reuten. “I have enjoyed working with Sienna on ramping up the tension between the two characters. We are both very aware of certain clichés in scenes, for example, like a fight between women and we are both really keen for our characters to show their humanity. They need to be able to show the reality of the situation as they are both fighting for something bigger.”
7 Series two opens on a high-speed car chase through the streets of London with DI Harry Clayton at the wheel. Still wearing the ancient bracelet, he now refuses to use his new found “power” to assist him in any way, mindful of the dire consequences.
8 One particular scene between Harry and Isabella was shot in Piccadilly Circus at rush hour on a Friday afternoon. “The scene was originally scripted as a completely different interior location, but during our recce the director was driving through Piccadilly and spotted the Statue of Eros and said that it would be perfect to stage the scene,” says Madonna Baptiste. “My initial thoughts were horror at the prospect of filming at such an exposed and busy location with thousands of people milling about, with a crew and four of our main cast, but it all worked out for the best and the scene looks fantastic. That’s what makes filming Lucky Man so exciting and gives it the large-scale look that the fans really respond to.”
9 While there will be an arc plot, producer Madonna Baptiste promises a more episodic feel this year too, with more clearly defined cases-of-the-week.
10 James Nesbitt (Harry Clayton) feels that, “season two seems even more aligned to Stan Lee’s original vision of the mystery surrounding luck… I think this series is exciting with the notion of good and evil and the arrival of Isabella throwing Harry into a spin. He has to work out who she is and if she is a force for good. ”
11 There’s a new dynamic between Harry and his boss, Winter. “After the dramatic events in the finale of series one, Winter and Harry have turned over a new leaf and the two colleagues start the new series from a place of trust with a new direction to their relationship,” says Steven Mackintosh who plays Winter. “Although Winter will always be wary of Harry’s methods, there is respect between them. There are now lots of interesting turns developed for Winter in the new series.”
12 Similarly, Harry’s old adversary within the murder division, Orwell, has a new arc for season two. “He has more of a personal story arc going on in series two,” teases actor Darren Boyd. “I enjoy the fact that we see a bit more of why Orwell is doing the things he does.”
13 Other filming locations for season two include a Thames riverboat going underneath Tower Bridge, the fountains outside Somerset House and inside the National Gallery.
14 We’ll be seeing Stan Lee again. “Yes. I have filmed my cameo for series two of Lucky Man,” confirms the comic legend. “I loved it because it gave me a chance to do a little bit of acting and I actually have a line to say this time! I can’t wait to see it.”
15 And here are the synopses for every episode – the information is clearly what the production company is happy to let you know but extreme spoilerphobes should approach with caution…
- Episode 1: Harry is forced to use luck when a vengeful man exacts his rage on London. One by one, civilians drop after being mysteriously poisoned. It’s up to Harry to get his man before a catastrophic incident takes hundreds of lives.
- Episode 2: A club reveller is found wandering the streets of Vauxhall with a screwdriver buried deep in his head. All signs point to a new wave of hate crimes that lead straight to a local religious cult. There, Harry meets the Reverend Huxley, a formidable evangelical priest with a terrifying agenda and an army of disciples.
- Episode 3: A pie containing human flesh is discovered after a man collapses in the middle of a busy London street. Retracing the pie’s provenance, Harry and the team find that a meat wholesaler peddles a lot more than lamb, pork, beef, and chicken…
- Episode 4: London’s Silicon Roundabout is under scrutiny after entrepreneur Davey Wells’s driverless car is hacked, crashes and fatally kills its passenger at a launch event. Unfortunately for Wells, the passenger was his soon to be ex-wife, giving Harry all the more reason to suspect him. Harry’s instinct is always right, or so he thinks – is Wells really the man behind the hack?
- Episode 5: Harry and the team investigate a spate of drownings along London’s eerie canals. Behind them is a self-righteous person who doesn’t believe in second chances. It’s not long before Harry, addict and gambler, tracks them down – will he survive the final reckoning?
- Episode 6: A ruthless hit-man takes out an entire charter plane, but for Harry and the team his motivation is a mystery. Can Harry decipher the target before he strikes again?
- Episode 7: After a Soho property developer is found brutally murdered, key evidence disappears from the crime scene. Winter worries that one of his team is responsible, and Orwell is in the frame. Harry fights to clear his detective’s name, only to find himself back in the Green Dragon Casino and face to face with his old enemy, the fiery Lily-Anne Lau.
- Episode 8: Someone is reeking revenge on London’s most wanted criminals, one murder at a time. Once Harry puts two and two together, he’s forced to put his life in danger and crosses a dangerous line.
- Episode 9: Down-and-out boxer Jay Tate revels in his newly found good fortune when he finds himself victorious in the boxing ring. But for every swing there is a roundabout and with Harry and Eve on the hunt for him, how long can Jay’s winning streak last?
- Episode 10: While Suri follows a trail of breadcrumbs, amassing enough evidence to bring down her prime suspect, Eve tells Harry there’s only one extreme way to stop the cunning plan against him, culminating in the most titanic of struggles.